• Sydney Australia - credit Jackie Appleton
    Sydney Australia - credit Jackie Appleton

Travel in Style across Peru

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Vicki Tester

 

Travelling across Peru in style has become easier with the launch of the Andean Explorer Train. This is seriously comfortable train travel with your own cabin and off train excursions to some of Peru’s most iconic sites. The journey has the following itinerary:

Picture courtesy of Jackie Appleton

Day 1

Board the train in the ancient city of Arequipa, settle in to your cabin and acclimatise to the unforgettable style of the train as you start the journey towards Puno. Join your fellow travellers in the bar car before sitting down to a refined Andean dinner in the dinner car. All the while the scenery changes as you settle in to luxury train travel

Day 2

The sun will be rising over Lake Titicaca as you awake and then head for breakfast before a day of exploration. Time to explore the world’s highest navigable lake, firstly in a traditional boat out to Uros, a man made island constructed of interwoven reeds. The people that live on the island also construct their homes, ships and tools from the same reeds.

From here you will head to Taquile Island with its stunning terraced agricultural strips. The inhabitants here live by the same social code that has been in place for the past centuries. Their hand woven fabrics are regarded as the best in Peru. Enjoy lunch on the Collata Beach followed by a performance of local dancers and a chance to watch artisans at work.

Return to the train for a delicious tea and relax as the train heads towards to Cusco.

Picture courtesy of Jackie Appleton

Day 3

Breakfast this morning is accompanied by stunning views as the train heads sets off from Marangani. You will have an off train excursion to Raqch’I archaeological site of a once important Inca settlement.

 

All too soon you will be arriving At Cusco, the former Inca capital. Time to bid farewell to the train crew and the start of your next Peruvian adventure.

Picture courtesy of Jackie Appleton

 

Picture courtesy of Jackie Appleton

Upcoming series on BBC about the Galapagos Islands

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Vicki Tester

 

BBC1 Thurs 3rd April – 9PM

If you ever thought about travelling to the World famous Galapagos Island, then make sure you watch the 3 part documentary starting on the BBC1 this Thursday at 9pm. Headed up as “The Cauldron of Life” it should wet your appetite for bringing forward your plans to make that promised trip to Galapagos.

While talking about programmes coming up, The BBC series on the amazing hotels is featuring Mashpi Lodge in the Andean Cloud Forest in Ecuador, one that we use for those travellers wanting to explore Ecuador further. This is going out on the 03 April and will give you a real taste of what to expect in this unique environment.

To make your own holiday to these amazing Ecuador and Galapagos Islands happen, just give us a call (01323 446550) or email us on info@experienceholidays.co.uk

Lizard in Galapagos

Picture courtesy of Mr & Mrs Brisland

Giant Tortoise in Galapagos

Picture courtesy of Mr & Mrs Brisland

 

 

 

Baby Croc in Galapagos

Picture courtesy of Mr & Mrs Brisland

Blue Footed Booby in Galapagos

Picture courtesy of Mr & Mrs Brisland

A Journey Around Costa Rica – By Peter Ellis

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Vicki Tester

 

I have just returned from a trip to Costa Rica and cannot wait to tell you about it. It was the first time that I have visited Central America and my expectations were high but I now realise how ill informed I was about this amazing country. The first thing to say is how welcoming I found everyone and proud of their countries achievements. With no army, the money saved has been ploughed in to education and their health service; leading to 98% literacy rate and a primary school in every village. Early on they realised that they could not produce coffee on the scale of places like Brazil so they have decided to only grow top quality instead and I can confirm that it is great – everywhere. Costa Rica also expects to be carbon neutral by 2020.

The scenery is amazing with over 120 volcanoes dominating views in many places around the country. Five of these are still active. The national parks account for 25% of the land mass and encompass a host of different eco systems such as cloud forests, rain forests, mangrove forests and everything in between. The wildlife is spectacular, the bird life even more so and the flora beautiful. Having a guide to show you what is hidden in these reserves is a must – they have the eyes to see things and their knowledge of the flora and fauna ensures you are fully informed. Waking up to see Arenal Volcano in the morning light in front of your lodge and then watching a sloth making its way slowly along the branch in the tree behind has to be a special treat.

                Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

I was lucky enough to see turtles hatching on the Caribbean side of the country, be woken by howler monkeys on the Osa Peninsula (the second loudest mammal on earth), hummingbirds and toucans in most places and frigate birds on the Pacific coast. The variety of new and interesting sights, flora and fauna was/is amazing. There are even big cats to be found here, although I missed them all. So much to see and do…Tortuguero has a beach of about 20 miles and at the right time of the year has 20,000 adult female turtles coming ashore to lay their eggs. That is on a poor year – on a good year in can be up to 40,000!

 

There is much more to talk about and I will be putting this in blogs and in an “Experience Eye” sample itinerary very shortly. But if you would like to chat about this wonderful country just call. Pour yourself a Costa Rican coffee first though!

                  Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

                    Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

                  Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Ecuador

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Located on the equator, this is a country of snow capped volcanoes, green valleys and steamy jungles and of course the wonderful Galapagos Islands, the archipelago that inspired Charles Darwin in 1835 and continues to amaze every visitor since.

Summary

Ecuador

Day 1: Arrive Quito
Day 2: Private tour of Quito and the Equatorial Monument
Day 3: Otavalo
Days 4 – 6: Spirit of the Andes 3 day tour .
Day 7 – 11: Galápagos Cruise
Day 11: Guayaquil

Description

Description

Day 1: Arrive Quito
Arrive in Ecuador’s Capital city where you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel, your base for 3 nights

Day 2: Private tour of Quito and the Equatorial Monument
Quito, a modern, vibrant city with a long and fascinating history, was the second most important city in the Inca Empire (after Cusco). The beautifully restored colonial quarter, the largest and best preserved of South America, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Stroll through the Old Town with its churches, monasteries and hidden patios. Your tour continues just north of Quito to the Equatorial Monument, latitude 0º, where you can stand with a foot on each hemisphere. Visit the Ethnographic Museum inside the monument, which shows the different Native American groups living in Ecuador.

Day 3: Otavalo
Early departure for a one day tour of the fertile Otavalo Valley. The journey north takes you through dramatic mountain scenery to Otavalo, surrounded by volcanoes, rivers and lakes. Visit the world famous market featuring a dazzling display of tapestries, hammocks, jewellery, paintings and colourful native clothing. Continue to Peguche, an Indian village, home to the artisans who do the weaving in their homes; learn about their culture and everyday life. The excursion includes lunch at one of the charming country inns or haciendas of the area.

There are other options here, including a visit to the Cloud Forest either on a day or multi day basis and/or to visit the Amazon basin for two to three days.

Days 4 – 6: Spirit of the Andes 3 day tour .
Today you will embark on a 3 day adventure into the Andes that will awaken your senses. From Quito, travel along the Avenue of the Volcanoes, to Cuenca. The journey takes you through breathtaking landscapes, with cultural discoveries and ethnic and culinary delights along the way; you will gain insights into the local life, customs and traditions of the Andean people.  There are various options for this part of your tour, which may include exploring Cotopaxi National Park in more detail and/or travelling on the Devil’s Nose train

Your journey ends in the city of Cuenca. Its superb Colonial centre, that still retains all of its traditional charm, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Stroll along the flower-lined cobblestone streets and along the river bank, visit the churches, museums, antique shops and art galleries. At dusk on you final day transfer to Cuenca airport for your flight to Guayaquil for an overnight stay.

An alternative here is to take an overland journey to Guayaquil, this is a full day journey and requires the addition of two extra nights – one in Cuenca and one in Guayaquil.

Day 7 – 11: Galápagos Cruise
Today you will be transferred to Guayaquil Airport for your flight to the Galápagos. There is no place on Earth like the Galápagos Islands. Far out in the Pacific Ocean, this archipelago is part of Ecuador’s national park system. When Charles Darwin visited in 1835, he observed a pristine, naturally isolated living laboratory that would inspire and refine his theories. The islands have not lost their ability to inspire; here you can walk amongst unique species such as marine iguanas, observe the elaborate mating rituals of blue-footed boobies, albatrosses and frigate birds, snorkel with turtles… encounter wildlife unthreatened by predators and undisturbed by visitors. Explore the magic of the Galápagos on comfortable expedition cruise vessels, accompanied by expert, knowledgeable guides who are committed to preserving this wonderful area for future generations.

There are a number of different cruise options and of varying durations.  There is also a land based programme for those less keen to take to the water.

Day 11: Guayaquil
Fly back to Guayaquil on the mainland to continue your onward arrangements

All photographs by kind permission of Metropolitan Touring

MTE1977      RODRI 11

 

quito      spirit-of-the-andes

Little Gems

Little Gems

Without a doubt, the highlight of this itinerary is the opportunity to visit the Galapagos Islands and it is your preference for this part of the tour that should be planned first!

What our clients say

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Belmond Andean Explorer – Peru

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Vicki Tester

 

Belmond have announced the arrival of an incredible new train journey in Peru – launching in May 2017 the Andean Explorer could be a fantastic addition to your holiday in the region.

 A carefully curated selection of four journeys will include ‘Peruvian Highlands’, a two night, three day journey departing from Cusco to Puno, where guests will be able to visit the remote villages and floating islands on Lake Titicaca, and then onwards to Arequipa, including a chance to stop and explore Colca Canyon, the realm of the condor. A shorter option, fully inclusive of all meals, an open bar and scheduled excursions, will be the ‘Spirit of the Andes’ journey, crossing the Altiplano between Cuzco and Lake Titicaca.  

Picture copyright to Belmond - Richard James Taylor

Picture copyright to Belmond – Richard James Taylor

 

Picture credited to Belmond - Richard James Taylor

Picture credited to Belmond – Richard James Taylor

Inside the train you will be met by personal luxury cabins where you can relax along your journey, a lounge car for you to relax with friends and family, two dining rooms serving locally sourced ingredients from the Peruvian Andes and an observation car with an open deck so you can make the most of the ever changing landscape.

 

 

 

 If you would like to find out more or add this glorious train journey to your own bespoke, tailor made itinerary then please contact us on Tel: 01323 446550 or email: info@experienceholidays.co.uk

 

Picture copyright Belmont - Inge Moore

Picture copyright to Belmond – Inge Moore

 

Picture credited to Belmond - Inge Moore

Picture credited to Belmond – Inge Moore

 

Picture credited Belmond - Inge Moore

Picture credited to Belmond – Inge Moore

A Taste of South America: Brazil, Argentina and Chile

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Discover the highlights of Brazil, Argentina and Chile combined in this itinerary, A Taste of South America.

Summary

Brazil, Argentina and Chile

Day 1: Arrive Rio de Janeiro
Day 4: Iguassu
Day 6: Buenos Aires
Day 9: Los Glaciares National Park
Day 11: Puerto Natales, Chile
Day 14: Chile’s Lake District
Day 17: Bariloche
Day 21: Buenos Aires
Day 22: Depart Buenos Aires

Description

Description

 

A taste of South America: Brazil, Argentina and Chile

Day 1: Arrive Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro is one of the world’s most beautiful cities. Mountains, forests, beaches, lagoons, vegetation and the South Atlantic blend to form a dramatic back-drop as this incredible landscape rises from the sea. With its warm climate, it is the perfect year-round destination. Favourite sightseeing tours include taking the train to the top of Corcovado, the Statue of Christ overlooking Rio, the cable car to the top of the Sugar Loaf Mountain, a city tour to appreciate the history and colonial past of Rio, day trips to the tropical islands and beaches near the city or to the former capital of Petropolis located up in the cool of the mountains.
Rio de Janeiro 3 nights

Day 4: Iguassu
Fly to Iguassu. On arrival you will be met at the airport and taken directly to visit the Brazilian side of the falls. The Iguassu Falls are one of South America’s most renowned landmarks and one of world’s great natural wonders. The national parks on both sides of the Falls offer a wonderful range of tropical flora and fauna and during your stay you will be able to participate in a full range of activities. Local animal species include the black howler monkey, capybara, jaguar and puma. Transfer to a hotel on the Argentine side for your stay.
Iguassu 2 nights

Day 6: Buenos Aires
Fly to Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina and known as “The Paris of South America”. From the tantalising tease of the tango to the bustle of its prosperous port, this European style city offers a great mix of cultures. There is something for everyone to discover and enjoy in this unique city and its environs.
Buenos Aires 3 nights

Day 9: Los Glaciares National Park
Fly to El Calafate, gateway to Los Glaciares National Park. Transfer to your hotel located in the National Park for a 2 night stay. On your full day include an excursion to the striking Perito Moreno Glacier.
Los Glaciares 2 nights

Day 11: Puerto Natales, Chile
Back to El Calafate to board the regular overland bus service to Puerto Natales in Chile. This memorable journey takes about 10 hours. Chile’s Patagonia, land of Magellan and Tierra del Fuego is the gateway to Antarctica. This is one of the most spectacular areas in the world. Vast green pampas, ice blue glaciers, black and jade-coloured mirror-like lakes, deep valleys which turn to fjords, volcanoes, bays, inlets, channels waiting to be explored where icebergs float silently on the waters of Laguna San Rafael, under the brow of majestic snow-clad peaks. Patagonia has so much to offer; Torres del Paine National Park, its Mylodon Cave, flight seeing over Cape Horn, Straits of Magellan ferries to Tierra del Fuego, the Balmaceda and Serrano Glaciers by boat from Puerto Natales and the Grey Glacier from Pehoe. Wildlife is abundant and includes Condors, herds of Guanacos, Black-necked Swans, Silver Fox, Rheas and Trout-filled Rivers.
Chile’s Patagonia 3 nights

Alternatively stay at a special all inclusive resort located in the heart of Patagonia. Here daily excursions to suit all levels are offered in Torres del Paine National Park. Excursions are by comfortable 4WD, foot, horseback, motorboat, mountain bikes or boats made of lingue (native wood of the region). Due to its remote location a minimum 4 nights is required here.

Day 14: Chile’s Lake District
Transfer to Punta Arenas airport for your flight to Puerto Montt, where you will discover the wild and beautiful lands of Chile’s famed Lake District. The lakes are located in one of the Earth’s truly unspoiled areas. Here, stretching for hundreds of kilometers between the ocean and the Andes, are scores of glittering emerald lakes set amidst snow-capped active volcanoes, deep woodland meadows and flowering gardens. Here you will find great pine forests, waterfalls, clean air, and the purest of waters, that make tourists come to paint, photograph, hike, ride horses, or just relax. On one of your full days here take a tour to Chiloe Island, the last area of the Chilean territory dominated by the Spaniards.
Puerto Varas 3 nights

Day 17: Bariloche
Today cross back into Argentina with a one day lake crossing to Bariloche; known as the Switzerland of South America. Located in the heart of the Andes in the Patagonian Region of south western Argentina, Bariloche is the gateway to a marvellous group of lakes, woods, glaciers and snowy peaks. During the Argentine winter (June to September) it is a thriving ski centre where it is possible to enjoy wide open ski slopes. At other times of the year hiking, mountain-climbing, riding, fishing and mountain-biking are on offer.
Bariloche 4 nights

Day 21: Buenos Aires
Transfer to Bariloche airport for your flight to Buenos Aires for your final night.
Buenos Aires 1 night

Day 22: Depart Buenos Aires

JA Iguassu

Credit Jenny Appleton

 

Little Gems

Little Gems

Plan to visit Iguassu Falls at a full moon and ensure you stay at the Das Cataratas Hotel.  It is only from here that you have the opportunity to experience the lunar rainbow – don’t forget you’ll need a clear night, which of course can’t be guaranteed!

What our clients say

Client Feedback

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Costa Rica Adventure

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There is so much to explore in this tropical country as you travel around.  You’ll not want to miss the Cloud Forest with its huge variety of birds and mammals or Arenal Volano, set in the tropical lowlands.  Enjoy this adventure packed tailor made trip through Costa Rica.

Summary

Costa Rica Adventure

Day 1: San José
Day 2: Poás Volcano National Park
Day 3: Pacuare River Rafting
Day 4: Bajos del Toro
Day 6: Arenal
Day 9: Rincon de la Vieja area
Day 11: Conchal Beach
Day 15: San Jose
Day 16: Depart San Jose

Description

Description

Day 1: San José
You will be met at the airport and transported to your central hotel. Take a tour of the capital city including a visit to the Gold Museum which houses the largest collection of Pre-Columbian Gold in Central America. Enjoy a stroll along the Central Avenue Boulevard.
San Jose 2 nights

Day 2: Poás Volcano National Park
Early morning start to the northern mountains of the Central Valley and a full day tour of Poás Volcano National Park. Spend time at La Paz Waterfall Gardens. On the return to San José, visit a family owned coffee plantation.

Day 3: Pacuare River Rafting
Today you will head to the Pacuare River, crossing the Continental Divide and passing through the breathtaking Braulio Carrillo National Park. Take an exhilarating rafting trip down this wild and scenic river which offers some of the finest white water in Latin America winding deep inside one of Costa Rica’s most impressive rainforests. Traverse 20 miles of remote and Class 111 scenic waters that course through a wilderness of dense vegetation and steep sided gorges. You will eventually arrive at your overnight eco-lodge, nestled in a private 1000 acre rainforest reserve overlooking the river. Afternoon at leisure to enjoy optional activities such as hiking and swimming
Rainforest Lodge 1 night

Day 4: Bajos del Toro
Continue your river rafting adventure along the Pacuare, stopping off for lunch along the river. On arrival at your destination, transportation and a guide will be waiting to transfer you to Bajos del Toro. En route visit a former cocoa bean rain forest plantation for a guided hike followed by a hands-on chocolate making session. Continue to Bajos del Toro located in the Tropical Cloud Forest. Your base here is a luxury eco resort and spa set in 500 private acres of tropical cloud forest, dotted with hidden waterfalls and gentle creeks. Relax in your suite which boasts a private outdoor whirlpool tub, viewing deck and gasfireplace.
Bajos Del Toro 2 nights

On your full day here enjoy a nature walk through the cloud forest that will take you past a pristine creek and mesmerizing waterfalls. Enjoy lunch in the riverside restaurant. In the afternoon take a tour of the thriving local rural community with its rich traditions, unsurpassed landscapes and intriguing flora. Visit a local orchid enthusiast; his collection features more than 400 orchids.

Day 6: Arenal
After breakfast, you may join in an optional Yoga session or a guided cloud forest trail walk. After lunch transfer to Arenal. Your journey passes through the agricultural town of Zarcero before continuing to the northern lowlands in Alajuela Province where we find the Arenal Volcano, active since 1968. Here you will be based for 3 nights
Arenal Volcano 3 nights

Your first morning is filled with adrenaline as you drive into the tropical rainforest outside the town of La Fortuna. When you arrive at the waterfalls you will abseil from the top down into the beautiful pristine canyon below. After trekking through the canyon there will be more abseiling down to other waterfalls that will take you to the tranquil pools. Enjoy some bird watching, or just relax in this unspoiled paradise. Before sunset, visit the best lookout point in La Fortuna to enjoy Arenal Volcano and Lake at the same time! You can simply sit, take pictures and relax waiting for the frequent volcanic activity or hike along the lava trails.

Your second full day here takes you through citrus groves, pineapple and sugar cane plantations to Los Chiles on the northern border with Nicaragua. From here you’ll be taken on a comfortable boat ride up the Río Frío, a tropical river alive with an immense variety of animals. Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge consists of over 18,000 acres of lagoons and marshland (tropical everglades). The area attracts many bird watchers and nature lovers. Capuchin, spider and howler monkeys, sloth, garfish, roseate spoonbills, many types of herons, caimans and turtles are commonly found in this unique reserve. As many as 60 different types of birds have been spotted on this adventure tour. Lunch included in a local restaurant in the village of Los Chiles. On the way back, stop by the iguana bridge to observe some huge specimens. Arrive back at the hotel in the mid afternoon before enjoying a gentle evening float trip down the Peñas Blancas River. Witness the jungle transform from day into night. Regular sightings include the common opossum, common gray four-opossum, brown-throated three toed sloth, Hoffmann’s two-toed sloth, long-nosed bat, mantled Howler monkey, yellow-crowned night-heron, spectacled owl, the american crocodile and plenty of baby crocodiles.

Day 9: Rincon de la Vieja area
Travel from the northern lowlands to the Guanacaste Volcanic Mountain Range where the Rincon de la Vieja Volcano is located. Your base for 2 nights is a family owned cattle ranch which offers a contrasting volcanic activity experience. During your stay here you have a choice of activities including horseback riding to a waterfall, river tubing and cattle herding. Or relax in the hotel’s spa and swimming pool.
Rincon de la Vieja 2 nights

Day 11: Conchal Beach
After breakfast transfer to all inclusive beach resort Paradisus located by one of the most beautiful beaches in the country, for a few nights relaxation at the end of your holiday.
Paradisus Beach Resort 4 nights (or longer)

Day 15: San Jose
Your guide will meet you at your beach resort and transfer you back to San Jose. En route enjoy lunch at a Hacienda, perhaps sampling the fresh tilapia. Continue towards San Jose for your final night

Day 16: Depart San Jose

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Courtesy of ICT


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Courtesy of ICT


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Courtesy of ICT

            

 

 

Little Gems

Little Gems

An increasingly popular way to visit Costa Rica, or to add to a land based itinerary is to join a cruise ship.  Several smaller companies now offer voyages that begin or end in Costa Rica – ask us for details
 

What our clients say

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Peru – Condors, Culture and Countryside

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There is so much more to Peru than Machu Picchu, and on this itinerary idea you will explore many of Peru’s highlights, culminating in your discovery of the stunning city of Machu Picchu.

Summary

Summary

On the 24th July 1911, Hiram Bingham discovered Machu Picchu and on any visit to Peru, this is one of the major highlights.  However, there is so much more to Peru than Machu Picchu and on this itinerary idea, you will explore many of Peru’s highlights, culminating in your own discovery of the stunning city of Machu Picchu.

Day 1: Lima
Day 2: Arequipa
Day 4: Colca Canyon
Day 6: Puno
Day 8: Cusco
Day 10: Sacred Valley
Day 11: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu
Day 12: Cusco
Day 14: Depart Cusco

Description

Description

 The country of Peru is located on the western side of the South American continent, stretching from the Pacific Ocean to the Andes and into the Amazon Basin, and from its border with Ecuador in the north to Chile and Bolivia in the South.  It is a country steeped in history, probably the best known of which is the Inca Empire.  No trip to Peru would be complete without a visit to the lost city of Machu Picchu, but take time to explore other highlights of this fascinating country first and one very quickly realises that there is a lot more to Peru than meets the eye.  

Day 1: Lima
Arrive in Lima. Take a tour of Peru’s capital city before transferring to your overnight hotel.
Lima 1 night

Day 2: Arequipa
Fly south to Arequipa for a 2 night stay. Located in the southern Peruvian highlands, Arequipa is set in beautiful countryside surrounded by snow capped mountains. Your stay here includes a city tour which begins with the extraordinary architecture of the Convent of Santa Catalina, opened to the public in 1970 after more than 400 years of religious cloistered life. Visit the Plaza de Armas or Main Square, the Cathedral, Church of La Compañia with all its colonial jewels and its chapel Sixitina, then cross the city along the Chili River before visiting the Carmen Alto viewpoint to enjoy beautiful views of Arequipa´s valley.
Arequipa 2 nights

Day 4: Colca Canyon
Today you will embark on a 3 day/2 night private tour to the remarkable Colca Canyon, the world’s deepest canyon. During your tour you will journey deep into the Andes where you will have the opportunity to view the majestic flight of the condors. With spectacular scenery the area is also home to llamas and Vicuñas, the national animal of Peru. Visit small remote towns and villages that still maintain their ancestral traditions.Your base for 2 nights is the town of Chivay.
Chivay 2 nights

Day 6: Puno
This morning travel by private transfer to the city of Puno, on the shores of Lake Titicaca for a 2 night stay. On your full day here you will take an excursion to the Uros and Taquile Islands in Lake Titicaca. The Uros Islands are made of reeds and rise six meters above the lake level. They are anchored by logs and connected to each other by ropes. The inhabitants live basically by fishing, hunting and making handicrafts to sell to visitors. Continue to the Taquile island. Offering a spectacular view from its hills, Taquile is an important textile centre. Taquileños still follow a traditional life style, making a living from their textile activities.
Puna 2 nights

Day 8: Cusco
Today you will take a guided bus transfer from Puno to Cusco. This 9 hour journey includes lunch and stops off enroute at many places of interest including Andahuaylillas Church, with its superb murals, the remarkable Raqchi Inca archaeological complex and the village of Pucara, famous for its pottery. Your full day will include and half day tour or the city, considered by many to be the Archaeological Capital of the Americas, and the nearby ruins.  There is an alternative mode of transport here – by rail.

Cusco 2 nights

Day 10: Sacred Valley
Today you will take a full day tour in the Sacred Valley of the Incas before checking in to you hotel in village of Yucay, located in the heart of the Sacred Valley.
Sacred Valley 1 night

Day 11: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu
Rise early and transfer to Ollantaytambo railway station to board the tourist train through the Sacred Valley of the Incas, to the fabulous mountaintop ruins of Machu Picchu. Machu Picchu was never discovered by the Spaniards. For centuries it was buried in the jungle until found in 1911 by Hiram Bingham. The Holy City of Machu Picchu represents an extraordinary example of architecture and engineering. Upon arrival at the station at Aguas Calientas, buses wait to transfer you to the top of the ruins.
Aguas Calientes 1 night

Day 12: Cusco
Morning at leisure, before catching the afternoon train back to Cusco.  On arrival in Cusco, you will be transferred to your hotel for a further 2 night stay
Cusco 2 nights

Day 14: Depart Cusco
Transfer to Cusco airport for the start of your return journey to the UK or continue your adventure…

Possible Extensions
The above itinerary is just one suggestion for Peru – it may be amended to suit your particular interests. If time allows, there are numerous ways to extend your trip including..

The Nazca Lines
Travel South of Lima to Ica. From here take a flight over the mysterious Nazca Lines. These drawings made in the sand over 2,000 years ago by the Nazca people are only visible from the air. You will see gigantic geometrical lines resembling a landing field and over 32 figures including a monkey, a spider, a condor, a reptile, a fish, a bird… Continue to the Paracas Peninsular where you may take a cruise out to the Ballestas islands; sea lions, penguins and more than 60 species of sea birds and wild life.

Peruvian Rainforest
Complete your Peru experience with a few days in the Amazon rainforest. There are number of exciting options available, from a luxury cruise into remote estuaries of the Peruvian rainforest to an exhilerating camping expedition through the remote and pristine Manu Biosphere Reserve, or a relaxing stay in a rainforest lodge where rainforest walks, bird watching and canoeing are amongst the acitivities on offer.

Call us for more details and ideas on your tailor made trip …

JA bus

Credit Jenny Appleton

 

JA crocodile

Credit Jenny Appleton

 

JA horseriding

Credit Jenny Appleton

Little Gems

Little Gems

Machu Picchu is a very special place. We suggest including a second entry ticket to the ruins giving you the opportunity to explore at your own pace and without the crowds of day trippers that will arrive in the middle of the morning.

What our clients say

Client Feedback

‘We loved Cusco and really could have spent an extra night there, but the highlight of the holiday, without a doubt, was our visit to Machu Picchu.  STUNNING!’

Chilean Highlights

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Discover Chile on this two week adventure around Chile.

Summary

Chilean Highlights

Day 1: Santiago
Day 2: Santiago
Day 3: Full day wine region tour
Day 4: Atacama Desert
Day 7: Chilean Lake Region
Day 08: Full day tour
Day 9: Southern Patagonia
Day 13: Santiago
Day 14: Depart Santiago

Description

Description

 

Day 1: Santiago
Arrive Santiago Airport and transfer to your hotel
Santiago 3 nights

Day 2: Santiago
A day to relax after your flight and take a half day tour of Chile’s capital city, Santiago. This great orientation tour begins with a drive through the main downtown avenues past the historic Presidential Palace and the main square of the city, Plaza de Armas. Visit the old cathedral, see the beautiful and historic building which houses the Post Office. Finally, a stop at the central market is a great opportunity to see a fabulous selection of vegetables, fruit and fish virtually unknown in Britain. Short drive to the top of Santa Lucia Hill and O’Higgins Park before continuing through the newer residential parts of the city to San Cristobal Hill where you will take a cable car ride – the view of the city at the foothills of the Andes is truly spectacular!

Day 3: Full day wine region tour
Today you have a choice of full day tours exploring the Casablanca Valley in the heart of Chile’s wine country. You tour will include a tour and tasting at one of the wineries in the Casablanca valley before continuing on to explore the Pacific coastal area with its beautiful beaches and traditional resorts including Valparaíso, one of the most picturesque ports, beloved by artists.
Alternatively combine your wine tour with a visit to a unique Chilean ranch. Witness a Chilean rodeo – a skilled duet between the Chilean horseman (huaso) and his horse. Admire the Chilean thoroughbreds and the skills of the huasos while you enjoy a glass of wine or a pisco sour.

Day 4: Atacama Desert
Return to the airport for your flight to Calama where your will be transferred to your boutique hotel in the heart of the Atacama Desert for a 3 night stay. The Atacama Desert is the driest place on the earth but it is an area of astonishing beauty and unique landscapes including turquoise-blue high altitude lakes, salt flats, geysers, volcanoes and sand dunes. Your hotel offers a range of private excursions and activities which are customised to suit you. These include hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking and vehicle tours.
San Pedro de Atacama 3 nights

Day 7: Chilean Lake Region
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Puerto Montt. Transfer to Puerto Varas located on the shores of Llanquihue Lake, surrounded by an amazing Andean mountain chain dominated by two stunning volcanoes, Osorno and Calbuco. You hotel has magnificent views of Lake Llanquihue and the Osorno Volcano. If your flight time allows include a half day tour on arrival.
Puerto Varas 2 nights

Day 08: Full day tour
Today take a full day tour to Todos Los Santos Lake and Osorno Volcano: depart from your hotel and travel along the southern shores of Lake Llanquihue with wonderful views of Osorno Volcano. You will learn about the area’s colonial history and local farming. Continue to Todos Los Santos lake, also known as Esmeralda Lake. Travel by catamaran to Peulla, a tiny hamlet on the other side of the lake. On the way, enjoy views of the Osorno volcano, Mount Puntiagudo and Mount Tronador. There will be time for a walk by the lake or to stop for coffee before continuing to Osorno Volcano where you can ride the ski lift for magnificent views.

Day 9: Southern Patagonia
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Punta Arenas. Here you will be transferred to your deluxe Patagonian resort for a 4 night stay. Set on the shores of Lake Pehoé, this stunning hotel is located in the heart of the Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia and is the perfect base to explore the spectacular surrounding area. A range of exciting activities are included in your stay here. Excursions are offered by foot, horseback, motorboat, mountain bike, boats made of lingue (native wood of the region) or 4WD.
Torres del Paine 4 nights

Day 13: Santiago
Transfer back to Punta Arenas airport for your flight to Santiago where you will be transferred to your hotel for your final night.

Day 14: Depart Santiago
Transfer to airport for return flights back to the UK
Or continue your adventure with an extension to Easter Island or elsewhere in South America…

JA atacama1

Credit Jenny Appleton


JA train

Credit Jenny Appleton


JA view

Credit Jenny Appleton

Little Gems

Little Gems

Such a diverse country deserves a holiday in its own right – wedged between the Andes and the Pacific Ocean, explore the length and breadth of the country – particularly the Atacama Desert.  For the more adventurous, consider adding the border crossing to Salta, Argentina, or complete the triangle with a trip into Bolivia.
 

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Honeymoon

Posted on:
Posted by:

Amanda Skingle

 

 

Picture credit Tourism Australia

Picture credit Tourism Australia

With the excitement of the wedding and all the details that need your attention, the honeymoon can often slip down the agenda. It is the moment when you can relax (or otherwise if that is what you want!), have some time to yourselves and reflect on the memories of the day itself. Meticulous planning is required to ensure the honeymoon is as memorable as the wedding.

The key is to start planning early and to tap in to the knowledge of an expert for your chosen destination.  It will cost no more and will ensure that you are in the right place at the right time. There is nothing worse than looking forward to a safari of a lifetime, only to arrive and find that the rains are in full swing, making travel difficult (if not impossible) and the wildlife has dispersed to inaccessible areas.  The popular destinations often include time spent on a beach and timing can be critical. Swimming in the sea along with large quantities of seaweed (as happens in some popular beach resorts) is not the experience most would relish.

The sooner someone is working on your honeymoon, the sooner you will have the options to consider and decide upon. We will ensure that you are not rushing from one place to another, with no time to see what attracted you there in the first place. We will work to your budget and time constraints and will have suggestions as to the type of accommodation available and what activities are on offer. We will also advise the lodges and hotels where you stay that you are newly-weds, which often brings a few treats.

There are often special packages for honeymooners and your advisor will factor these in to your itinerary, if appropriate.

A number of our recent newly weds who have already set up home, have opted for their friends and families making contributions towards their honeymoon rather than struggling to find wedding gifts that they have not already got at home.  Experience Holidays offers this service at no extra cost.

So get in touch with Experience Holidays on 01323 446550 or email info@experienceholidays.co.uk and start working together with our experts to ensure that your bespoke, tailor made honeymoon itinerary is truly as important and memorable as your wedding.

Picture credit Tourism Australia

Picture credit Tourism Australia

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